Essentially, Marxism replaces the private pursuit of capital with the collective ownership of production and distribution of goods and services. German philosopher and political economist Karl Marx (1818–1883) developed this revolutionary theory of socioeconomic power relations based on his radical socialist critique of capitalism. Communism is considered inevitable as the only way for the majority to completely rid itself from what is regarded as the essentially exploitative nature of capitalism.

While he was deeply influenced by German idealist philosopher G. W. F. Hegel and Scottish political economist Adam Smith, Marx rejected as much of their thinking as he embraced. He replaced Hegel's theory of human history, as an evolving dialogue between opposing ideas (dialectical idealism), with his own “dialectical materialism,” whereby ideas are shaped by material ...

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